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Managing Conflicts with Local Communities over the Introduction of Renewable Energy: The Solar-Rush Experience in Japan

Noriko Akita (), Yasuo Ohe (), Shoko Araki (), Makoto Yokohari (), Toru Terada () and Jay Bolthouse ()
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Noriko Akita: Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University, Matsudo City, Chiba 271-8510, Japan
Yasuo Ohe: Faculty of International Agriculture and Food Studies, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-8502, Japan
Shoko Araki: Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University, Matsudo City, Chiba 271-8510, Japan
Makoto Yokohari: Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
Toru Terada: Graduate School of Frontier Science, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa City, Chiba 277-8561, Japan
Jay Bolthouse: Independent Researcher, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan

Land, 2020, vol. 9, issue 9, 1-20

Abstract: A worldwide introduction of renewable energy has been required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Concomitantly, this has caused conflict between renewable energy development and local communities over landscape changes. This study aims to clarify the factors of conflict and find a way of conflict management. A case study on Japan is used, where a solar rush occurred due to the feed-in tariff (FIT) system. We analyze the public reasons to worry about renewable energy and the spatial characteristics of its locations. A socio-spatial approach is used by first utilizing a qualitative survey based on questionnaires and interviews with the local governments to understand the awareness regarding the issues, and then utilizing a quantitative survey on the location changes to solar power by using GIS. The results suggest that there were links between local governments’ concerns and the location of solar power concentration. These results show that conflicts over renewable energy are not unavoidable and may be managed by local governments that can act as intermediaries with sufficient knowledge of the local communities.

Keywords: renewable energy; solar rush; local community; landscape; peri-urban agricultural area; conflict management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:9:y:2020:i:9:p:290-:d:402779